35 years ago today - Dec 9, 1985

The Birch Society's new magazine immediately heralded the appointment of "the long-time Americanist patriot" Ezra Taft Benson as the new LDS president. "As in numerous past attempts to smear him and distract from his anti-Communist message, recent news articles have linked Benson to The John Birch Society," the magazine noted two weeks later in its regular "American Hero" section. The Birch magazine then mentioned Reed Benson's affiliation and quoted President Benson: "I do not belong to The John Birch Society, but I have always defended this group."

["New Head of Mormon Church," The New American 1 (25 Nov. 1985): 9; Evans-Raymond Pierre, "The True Man of Principle: Ezra Taft Benson," The New American 1 (9 Dec. 1985): 56. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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